Brink's Swings to Profits in Fourth Quarter

RICHMOND, Va. -- Security and transportation firm Brink's Co., helped by greater shipping volume amid an improving U.S. economy, on Tuesday said it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter but missed analyst expectations.

In the latest quarter, Brink's logged a profit of $32.1 million, or 57 cents per share, up from a loss of $25 million, or 47 cents, a year ago. Income from continuing operations amounted to $30.9 million, or 55 cents per share.

Total revenue for the period was $1.3 billion, an increase of 17 percent from $1.11 billion last year.

Although Brink's quarterly revenue beat the average analyst estimate of $1.25 billion, its earnings fell far short of forecasts for a profit of 63 cents per share from a Thomson First Call survey.

Brink's, the company's armored-car transportation division, saw revenue grow 12 percent to $515.9 million in the latest quarter, as revenue from heavy freight shipments at its BAX Global unit gained 21 percent to $691.1 million.

Meanwhile, Brink's home security business reported revenue that was 11 percent higher at $90.1 million.

Full-year income jumped to $114.6 million, or $2.07 per share, from $29.4 million, or 55 cents, in 2003. Income from ongoing business was $98.4 million, or $1.78 per share, as total revenue gained 18 percent to $4.72 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.87 per share and revenue of $4.66 billion.

Brink's shares dropped 30 cents to $35.38 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.